Songs for a New World

Christopher Columbus. Marco Polo. Leif Ericsson. Neil Armstrong. These are some of the brave adventurers who have plunged into the unknown, risking all to find a New World, pursuits that hold so many dangers, yet may also hold even greater bounties. But in reality we all face these risks, and take these plunges, every day. Taking chances on relationships and careers whose outcome we cannot possibly predict. Will they lead our lives to ruin, or bring us up to heights we had never dreamed possible?
Songs for a New World is filled with songs of renewed vitality and spirit, emotional loss, and humor, written by Jason Robert Brown. And in the small, intimate confines of the Actor's Asylum, you are right in the middle of it all, the powerful and beautiful voices of the ensemble surrounding you and drawing you into their stories on a more deeply personal level than the large theatre venues can offer.

The show sets sail On the Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship with Warren Nolan leading the ensemble in an uplifting song that speaks to the fears and the hopes of the crew who make the dangerous trip. Except for The Flagmaker, 1775 with Lee Lampard as Betsy Ross stitching the banner for people who are taking another huge leap into the unknown, most of the other scenes are set around today, usually involving relationships that are starting or ending.

Lee stars in the most hilarious scenes – one as Santa’s latest wife thinking seriously about divorcing the reindeer-loving “Saint” while she gets the workshop (and the elves to keep her warm!) in the settlement. And earlier she is an affluent socialite standing out on the ledge, lamenting to her husband about how she needs more fur coats in her life or else, nervously trying to get his attention while an eager audience forms far below. But is her husband one of those eager audience members???

Other standout scenes include the Sandy Campbell and G. Scott Lacy duet of two ex-lovers who now realize how much they miss each other in I’d Give It All For You. The smooth and sonorous Warren Nolan nails his inspirational and thrilling King of the World and Flying Home. And the whole ensemble blends their voices in beautiful vocalizations for the opening and closing numbers. Annette Nixon’s choreography makes excellent use of the small space and Robert Dahey’s tiered set design that proves so versatile, Robert’s subtle lighting effects polishing the performance, his canvas sails along the edges a constant reminder of the adventurous spirit that pervades the entire show.

Rob Hopper
San Diego Playbill

~ Cast ~

Man 1: Warren Nolan
Man 2: G. Scott Lacy
Woman 1: Sandy Campbell
Woman 2: Lee Lampard

Director: Danny Campbell
Musical Director: G. Scott Lacy
Stage Manager: Laura Montes
Choreographer: Annette Nixon
Set Design: Robert Dahey
Lighting Design: Robert Dahey

songs for a new world